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BBC DIY SOS to help Mildenhall’s Simon Dobbin

Simon and Nicole Dobbin 'Picture Mark Westley
Simon and Nicole Dobbin 'Picture Mark Westley

A rallying call has gone out from the BBC’s DIY SOS programme for people to help them make injured football fan Simon Dobbin’s Mildenhall home more suitable for his care.

Simon was left brain damaged by a brutal gang attack in 2015 while he was visiting Southend to support Cambridge United. He spent a year in hospital and rehabilitation before returning home to his wife Nicole in March 2016, but he needs 24-hour care and has been left unable to walk or talk.

In July 2017, the thirteen men were convicted for their parts in the ‘ferocious attack’ on him.

DIY SOS: The Big Build is the BBC’s flagship home renovation programme, which has been running for 18 years, and attracts up to five million viewers per episode on BBC One.

Presented by Nick Knowles and his team, it takes on extremely big builds across the country in just nine days.

A spokesman said: “We completely rely on the support and generosity of the local community of tradespeople and suppliers to carry out the work, to help transform the lives of truly deserving families.

DIY SOS presenter, Nick Knowles
DIY SOS presenter, Nick Knowles

“Simon’s current house is now unfit for purpose; it is inhibiting his rehabilitation and a massive strain on the family’s life. DIY SOS invites kind volunteers and generous companies to step up and help this family in need.

“The house needs a downstairs extension, under permitted development, with all the bespoke care provision that Simon will need: bedroom/physio space, wet-room, social space and the ability to access the entire ground floor and rear garden.”

The programme is now seeking skilled trades and local suppliers for the build which will take place between Tuesday November 14 and Thursday November 23.

The programme is having a trades day on October 26 and asks anyone interested in helping to email DIYSOSMildenhall@bbc.co.uk

Bussens and Parkin, the builders’ merchants and DIY store established in Mildenhall in 1912, was among the first to announce its support yesterday, saying on Facebook: “We’re fully signed up! Graham spoke to the BBC about it this morning.”

By this afternoon (Friday) it had had 208 responses, many from people in building trades saying they would be supporting the project along with some businesses offering sponsorship.

His daughter Rebecca Dobbin posted the programme’s flyer on Facebook and said: “Would all my lovely Facebook friends who live in the Mildenhall area please share this picture it’s for my dad and finally my nomination has worked for him to be able to have what he needs so so happy any help would be so so grateful thank you xxxxxx”

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